Mexico plans to acquire Black Hawk helicopters and heavy transport aircraft in 2023
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Despite previous statements of Mexico’s President to the contrary, the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (FAM, Mexican Air Force) seems to be planning to purchase additional aircraft and helicopters. The armed forces budget for 2023 will increase significantly and plans to acquire additional aircraft and helicopters have been made.

The FAM is looking to strengthen its capacity for air transport in particular. Its ever dwindling fleet of Lockheed C-130 Hercules has reached a new low of three operational aircraft, two being former RAF C-130K-30s (3616 and 3617) and one L-100-30 (3611), operated by Escuadrón Aéreo 302 at BAM Santa Lucia.

Despite rumours and intentions to purchase additional C-130Hs and even C-130Js, the Airbus A400M now seems to be the preferred large transport of choice. A visit of an Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force) A400M to FAMEX 2017 already underlined the interest of the Mexican high command in this type of aircraft. The air transport squadrons have an important task in response to natural disasters and the A400M seems the obvious choice, with its ability to haul large loads of aid and to land on austere runways. The FAM has issued a Request For Quotation (RFQ) for two aircraft with Airbus.

Another priority of the FAM is to enhance its helicopter capacity. After delivery of a batch of eighteen UH-60M Black Hawks between 2014 and 2016, a follow up order was expected soon and even published in various media, but in the end nothing materialized. Recently it became known that an additional batch of eighteen UH-60Ms is being sought.

The first UH-60A Black Hawks arrived in Mexico in 1994, for special operations with Escuadrón Aéreo 101. From 2014, Escuadrónes Aéreos 107 and 108 have both been equipped with state of the art UH-60Ms. A new order would bring the FAM’s total to 42 Black Hawks delivered, of which at least one has been written off in a crash. Other armed and police forces in Mexico flying the Black Hawk are the navy, the national guard and the Jalisco state police.


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